Notes from the Naturalist Week 4: Nature Preschool at HCMA

We got to try out our new rain gear Tuesday morning as a light rain was falling at the start of the day.  The change in the weather creates such excitement and brings attention to things we might not have noticed previously.  "Check out the rain falling from those leaves."  "How tricky it is to walk on that wet log in rain boots."  The outdoor environment is always changing and the addition of water makes for tremendous exploration!

As the clouds began to lift, we made our way to the summit of Little Round Top.  After exercising those big muscles the children were ready to pull out their Nature Journals and record some of their discoveries.  All of these children are in the pre writing stage or stage 1 of writing development.  They are relying primarily on pictures to tell their story and some are beginning to use symbols to represent letters and words.  It is so exciting to watch the children acquiring these traditional preschool skills in the forest.  For more information on the developmental stages of writing click here.


While you are out exploring with you children this week you might look for signs that will help us forecast the winter.  There is much folklore associated with predicting the upcoming winter weather.  You might find a hornet's nest with a thick wall, this means a hard winter is approaching.  Perhaps you notice a wide band on the wooly bear caterpillar or beaver and muskrat lodges that rise  high above the water?  These all mean a harsh winter is in store.  However, the folklore that we keep returning to these days revolves around acorns! The larger the crop of acorns the longer the winter!  Keep collecting those acorns and we'll have weeks of wonderful winter fun ahead of us!  What do you think?  Enjoy your week in the woods!